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081217-blm-loc-1buses

Mark Kuhn leads a tour of the McLean County Unit 5 bus garage in north Normal in August 2017. Kuhn was driving a Unit 5 bus Wednesday night when it was struck head-on by a semitrailer truck on Interstate 74. His condition on Friday was listed as critical. 

NORMAL — The school bus driver injured in Wednesday night's crash on Interstate 74 south of Bloomington remained in critical condition Friday at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. 

The hospital released no other information about Mark Kuhn, of Heyworth, or the other patient it is treating from the crash — Normal West coach Steve Price, whose condition is fair, the same condition the hospital released on Thursday.

West Principal Dave Johnson said Price suffered multiple broken bones and would need surgery. OSF has not released details of Kuhn's injuries.

On its Facebook page, Unit 5 on Friday said Kuhn has been a bus driver since 2016 and is "facing multiple surgeries and a long road to recovery," adding that he is a grandparent to three Unit 5 graduates. 

The eight freshmen basketball players on the bus were treated at Twin City hospitals and released by Thursday morning.

Kuhn, 64, and Price, 47, of Bloomington, were injured when a semitrailer truck traveling the wrong way on I-74 collided head-on with the bus carrying the Normal West freshman girls basketball team home after a win against Champaign Central. The crash occurred around 8:30 p.m.

Two men died in the crash — longtime Normal West volunteer and booster Charlie Crabtree, 72, of Normal, and the semi driver, Ryan Hute, 34, of Delmar, Iowa.

Kuhn works for First Student, Unit 5's busing contractor. He is a member of AFSCME Local 2608 that posted a statement on its website from AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch that states, “The hearts of every AFSCME member go out to our sisters and brothers of Local 2608. Our prayers are with them and their loved ones. We honor those who suffered this tragedy while serving their community.” 

State police continue to investigate the crash that occurred on westbound I-74, about two miles east of the Main Street/U.S. 51 exit on Bloomington's south side.

ISP released no new information on Friday. Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood, whose office is working with state police, said it isn't known at this time why Hute was traveling in the wrong direction. 

AFSCME Local 2608 President Deb Meyer said Unit 5 bus drivers have been receiving a lot of support since the crash, adding that on Thursday morning, a member of the community volunteered to buy lunch for all the drivers.

“I’m amazed at the way the community has come together over this,” Meyer said in a statement.

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